Highland 40, Griffith 36 | Matt Holl has five carries for 127 yards and a touchdown for the Trojans – all in the first half

Highland chews up Griffith to end scoring drought

2013-10-04T21:45:00Z 2013-10-05T02:08:09Z Highland chews up Griffith to end scoring droughtBrian Waddle Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 04, 2013 9:45 pm  • 

HIGHLAND | It’s not very often you see teams licking their chops seeing Griffith on the schedule, but you could say Highland was looking for more than a four-course meal Friday night.

Sixteen years of frustration makes a program hungry. Or the fact the Trojans hadn’t scored a point in conference play this season.

Behind a dominating running game – one that was Griffith’s bread and butter for decades – the Trojans rolled up 465 yards on the ground in outlasting the Panthers 40-36 in Northwest Crossroads action.

“This is huge. Just huge. Our kids fought and kept playing,” Highland coach Trent Grider said. “I’m so proud of these kids. Adversity hit and they said, ‘Let’s win this one.’”

Talk about a long time coming. Highland had lost 15 of the last 16 meetings against Griffith, including 15 straight. Take away last year’s 20-18 victory in the sectional and the Trojans hadn’t beaten the Panthers (1-6, 0-5) since 1999, and hadn’t won two straight in the series since 1998 and 1999. It was also Highland’s second-ever victory in NWC play, the other being a win over Kankakee Valley in 2011.

“We heard so much last year that it was a fluke. We knew what we had to do,” said an emotional Highland senior Matt Holl. “It’s hard to describe what this means. I read the paper all the time and we’re always picked to lose. This means so much for this program.”

Holl, who was nursing a sore knee and didn’t start, emerged late in the first quarter and made his presence known. The senior had five carries for 127 yards and a touchdown in the first half, while the Trojans (4-3, 1-3) had 230 yards on the ground by the break.

The Trojans led 19-6 at one point and trailed 36-25 with 4:13 left in the third quarter before rallying back with a running game Griffith couldn’t contain. Despite seven fumbles (four lost), Highland got 100 yards and three TDs from Ian Hardy and 129 yards and a TD from Sean McQuillan.

Grider had to be looked at by a doctor at halftime for low blood sugar. He came back on the field and made sure to let the entire Highland cheering section come on the field to celebrate afterward.

“I don’t have much left in the tank (tonight), but I’m enjoying this one,” Grider said.

The last time Highland had this much success against Griffith was six consecutive wins from 1982-87. The Panthers lost standout running back Justin Green to an ankle injury, and he missed almost the entire second half.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Featured Businesses